This is a milestone event for the UAS industry at large. What was thought to be just a crazy idea, has become a reality. UPS’s Drone for profit services have officially paved the way for approved:
· Deliver beyond the visual line of site (BVLOS) of an operator
· Have no limitations as to night flight
· Have an unlimited number of drones.
· Have an unlimited number of remote pilots(operators) in command (RPIC),
· Permit for drones and cargo to exceed 55Ibs
· No preset limits on the available size or scope of their type of operations they wish to conduct.
UPS has proven to the FAA governing body, that its concern for National Air Space (NAS) safety and its requirements to issue an air carrier certificate, have been met through their extensive research and test flights in remote drone pilot medical deliveries.
Is this too soon though? Un my opinion…absolutely not! It is right on time if you take into consideration the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) UAS Integration Pilot Program (IPP) that was inaugurated on May 9, 2018. This program provided for two and a half year (30 months) data collection involving and considering factors such as flight over people, package delivery, night operations, beyond visual line of site operator control, detect and avoid technologies and reliability and security of data links between pilot and aircraft. That was 18 months ago!
Some obstacles they will need to consider both now and in the future as they scale up can range from:
· Redundancy Protections
· Cyber Attack Security Standard Operations
· Number of Qualified and Trained Staff UAS RPIC Operators vs Demand
· Integration into both localized Public and Private regulations, policies and procedures
· Storing and Charging Station Locations
· Number of Drone Deliveries vs Battery Uses
· Getting the Public to Trust the Reliability and Safety through Education and Instruction.
Industry is always driven by demand. Demand is always fulfilled by a means that is profitable and that can create a disruptive technology and or service which meets or exceeds that demand. That is exactly what Drones can do on so many levels and this is the first step in proving that not only does it work, but that it is supported by the FAA and it is here to stay!